Om Puri

Profession: Actor , Singer, Supporting Actor
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  • Also Know as :- Om Puri
  • Profession:- Actor , Singer, Supporting Actor
  • Gender :- male
  • Birthdate:- 18 Oct 1950
  • Status:- Married
  • Debut Year:- 1976
  • Active Years:- 06 Jan 2017

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Om Puri
Indian Film History

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Om Puri was undoubtedly one of the best actors that Indian cinema has ever produced and is still considered a major figure in theatre activities by his contemporaries and younger generation alike. Om Puri is also credited as an internationally acclaimed figure in Indian cinema with a strong following all over the world. Puri is a highly revered figure in cinema circles for his priceless contributions to Indian cinema and is also one of the few Indian actors who have made his presence known in foreign movies in such high numbers. Puri’s earlier filmography itself is a handpicked list of the best movies to have come out of Indian cinema in both the art house and commercial streams, which itself is why he is still considered to be a legendary figure of Indian cinema who always broke the conventional set notions surrounding an actor with his highly influential and free style acting ways.

Om Puri was born in Haryana to a Punjabi family; His father worked initially with the railways and also with the military forces. Puri after graduating in acting from FTII In Pune went on to enrol in theatre acting from National School of Drama in New Delhi, which paved his way into cinema

Om Puri in the past was married to actress Seema Kapoor which ended before his second marriage on 1993. Puri was then married to Nandini Puri for twenty long years, after which they separated in 2013. The couple also has a son, Ishaan Puri. Om Puri had an untimely death on 6th of January in 2017, due to a major cardiac arrest at a private hospital in Mumbai bringing a long illustrious career to an end.

Entry into cinema ( 1976) Om Puri after completing his acting studies from National School of Drama and FTTI, made his debut in the Hindi adaptation of Jabbar Patel’s acclaimed Marathi play “Ghashiram Kotwal”; the film version was an independent production which was made in association with sixteen FTII graduates of the time. Om Puri from thereon went on to be a part of many so called “parallel cinema“ outings of Hindi cinema like Godhuli , Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai and Shyam Benegal’s Bhumika all of which saw him coming up with high spirited performances in the latter half of 1970’s and beginning of 80’s which led to his quick appraisal as a bankable actor by the critics section and made Puri a regular phase for the audience too. Branded career best phase in art-house productions (1980 – 1984) Om Puri in the beginning of 1980’s had made his credentials known with an array of critical masterpieces which began with Govind Nihalani’s Aakrosh, where he joined hands yet gain with his NSD classmate Naseeruddin Shah once again; a combo which went on to be India’s best actors of all time and also contributed in the making of innumerable classics. The movie garnered Puri his very first Award in the form of Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor which too made a mark for him in Hindi cinema.Bhavni Bhavai , Satyajit Ray’s TV film Sadgati and the year 1982 saw Puri shinning his way through the ranks of his contemporaries with cinematic gems like , Richard Attenborough’s biopic “Gandhi” on the life of Mahatma Gandhi in a supporting role and also won the National Film Award for Best Actor for Aarohan in the same year. Om Puri also made his presence known in other languages in the same year where he appeared among the lead in the Punjabi production Chann Pardesi which was a phenomenal box office and critical hit of the time and followed suit in 1983 with yet another astonishing angst ridden act in the cop drama Ardh Satya , where he fetched the National Film Award for Best Actor for the second consecutive year by portraying the mental dilemmas of a cop who finds himself fighting between social evils and his own frailties at the same time , where he played the protagonist along with an ensemble cast consisting of his frequent collaborators like Naseeruddin Shah , Amrish Puri and Smita Patil. The year also had Puri playing the lead with his long-time partner Naseeruddin Shah in the cult black comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro which too had an outstanding run at the box office and established him as a leading star face in Bollywood at the time. Om Puri in 1984 also had a short stint in the British Television series The Jewel in the Crown which made him a known face in international circles too. The same year the ensemble social drama Party; which dealt with the theme of, where he was seen in a comparatively minor role to the beginning of second half but invariably stole the accolades with his impressive performance. Next major phase ( 1985 – 1993) After major roles in art-house ventures like Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala, Aghaat and a Malayalam detour in 1988 with the critically acclaimed movie Puravrutham. Ghayal in 1990 got him the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Dharavi was Om Puri’s next major success which saw him as an ambitious taxi driver living in the slums of Dharavi, along with his wife played by Shabana Azmi who devises plans to become rich. The movie was a phenomenal critical success and was a cult movie funded jointly by NFDC and Doordarsan in the year 1992. During this phase of his career Puri mostly opted to be part of the so called” Parallel cinema” movement where he went on to be part of many acclaimed movies like Meera Nair’s directorial debut Sam& Me, the Canadian production which saw him co-starring with Ranjith Chowdhry and Peter Boretski in the lead and the movie had a screening at Cannes Film Festival and a also went on to a play supporting role in Ketan Mehta’s National Award winning Maya Memsaab. Puri played the lead in the British-French production City Of Joy, which had Patrick Swayze and Shabana Azmi in the lead. The movie received mainly mixed reviews. Puri followed up well with flicks like the Telugu film Ankuramand critically acclaimed Hindi movies like Current, Raat and the National Award winning drama film Patang , all of which still enjoys a cult viewing among audience. Major Roles in parallel cinema outings ( 1994 -1997) Om Puri after playing a supporting role in the Hollywood movie Wolf along with Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer in the lead,had a major breakthrough again in the same year through Govind Nihalani’s crime drama Drohkaal, opposite Nasserudhin Shah and Ashish Vidyarthi in the main lead. The movie had Om Puri playing a honest police offer working in the anti-terrorist squad with his brother like friend , who after a bit of turn of events starts being used by the bad guys to trace their plans amidst the killing of his friend. Puri came up with a stellar performance as the cop going through harsh emotional turmoil, and the movie was a major benchmark in Puri’s career and is till day considered to be one of his finest performances of all time and the movie was remade in Tamil with Kamal Haasan reprising his role in the remake. Om Puri had yet another Hollywood release in 1996, where he played a Muslim character named Abdullah in Michael Douglas starrer The Ghost and the Darkness. Om Puri’s next major outing was in Gulzar’s offbeat social drama Maachis , which dealt with the theme of futility of violence propelled by absurd reasons among youth in the backdrop of the Punjab insurgency in the 80’s based on Operation Blue Star which was the killing of prime minister Indira Gandhi. Puri played the lead along with Jimmy Shergill in the commercial and critical hit movie, which got him a Filmfare Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1996 for his intense portrayal of the character “Santana “. Om Puri struck the cord again the following year in the British production My Son the Fanatic, where he starred along with Rachel Griffiths and Akbar Kurtha . Om Puri’s interpretation of the hard striving taxi driver whose life gets disrupted when his son takes up fundamentalist Islam ideology which leads to a family breakdown and social consequences , won him much accolades and fetched him The Best Actor Award at Brussels International Film Festival in 1988. Kamal Haasan’s directorial debut Chachi 420 saw Om Puri appearing as a selfish womanizing yet seemingly funny negative role which was a welcome change from his previous outings and had the actor doing something else for a change. The same year Gupt: The Hidden Truth saw Puri appearing alongside Bobby Deol in a major supporting role as a cop which won yet another Filmfare Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor that year in 1997. After appearing in the moderately successful ensemble drama China Gate and the acclaimed English comedy movie East is East. Om Puri then shifted to Kannada industry by playing a playing a crucial role in Shiv Raj Kumar’s hit film A.K...47 which turned out to be a commercial hit and Puri’s dialogues got special mention like the punch line “Mera Joota Ka Naam bhi Dawood” and more, which was highly popular then among the Kannada audience too ironically. Gradual shift to major supporting roles ( 2000 onwards) Om Puri then went on to commit in a major supporting role in Kamal Haasan’s historic period crime drama Hey Ram, where he played a supporting role. Puri stole the show in Priyadarshan’s epic comedy Hera Pheri, along with an ensemble cast consisting of Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty in the lead. Puri was seen returning to his comic best,where he won the hearts of many with many memorable repartees with the lead. Next he appeared in hit movies like Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge , Farz , critically acclaimed Ghaath, English productions The Mystic Masseur and the acclaimed comedy The Parole Officer and the blockbuster Awara Paagal Deewana. Puri then appeared in the super hit movie Chor Machaye Shor after which he was seen in a meaty role in the war drama Dhoop where he played the father of a soldier, who painfully tries to reconcile with the death of his son. Puri was seen coming up with a standout performance in the hugely acclaimed movie. The 2004 saw Puri returning to limelight with Farhan Akhtar’s coming of age war movie Lakshya, where Puri appeared along with an ensemble cast lead by Hrithik Roshan. The movie had him playing a seasoned soldier who plays a vital role in the narrative. He followed suit with Mani Ratnam’s Hindi Political thriller Yuva, where he played an antagonist character as a dire corrupt politician opposite Ajay Devgn , Abishek Bachchan and Vivek Oberoi, who unites the three protagonist of the movie after a series of mishapsand yet again got under the skin of his character with great conviction. Kamal Haasan called upon Puri again in the year 200, for a key role in his multilingual comedy Mumbai Express. The Singeetam Sreenivasa Rao’s directorial saw him playing a cop who gets tangled in a comedy of errors. The year 2006 was a revelation for Puri with two high voltage and contrasting performances in movie like Rang De Basanti and Malamaal Weekly ,a serious outing in the former and a light hearted comic role as the greedy village milkman who gets embroiled in a comedy of errors after the death of the winner of a local lottery. The movie got praised for Puri’s and Rawal’s comic exchanges and was a hit among cinema goers. After yet another comic relief in Priyadarsan’s Chup Chup Ke, Puri went on to play the unabashed cop in ShahRukh Khan’s Don, which was the remake of the Amitabh Bachchan classic. Last subsequent releases ( 2007-2016) The comic classic Dhol was Puri’s next major release which was a hit. Buddha Mar Gaya and Mere Baap Pehle Aap were his following Hindi releases which were feathers in the cap for Puri’s comic avatars and he in the meantime also acted in the English production Charlie Wilson’s War starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in the lead with Puri playing the role of fictional Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq. Kismat Konnection, Singh Is Kinng ,Billu, London Dreams , Dabangg , Kurbaan and the English production West Is West all of which were either commercial and critical successes ensuring him a steady career graph as an supporting actor. Last few major films of his in supporting roles were: Don 2 Agneepath OMG: Oh My God Heartless (Hindi) ChaarSahibzaade ( Punjabi) Bajrangi Bhaijaan Aadupuliyattam (Malayalam) Mirzya Jungle Book ( English movie where he dubbed for the famous black Panther character Bhageera along with other well-known actors rendering their voices for the other characters. ) Posthumous releases (2017) The Ghazi Attack Viceroy’s House

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